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Maximize LinkedIn groups to get a job

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LinkedIn groups can help you get
acquainted with movers and shakers
in your field or community.
A great way to expand your network, find job opportunities, and get your name out into the marketplace is to take advantage of LinkedIn groups. If you haven’t joined a LinkedIn group yet, the process is easy and free.

From your LinkedIn home page, go to My Network and then under "Recommended for You", select “Groups”.

Even if you have joined some groups, make sure you are maximizing your usage of them to grow your network and increase your name recognition with the people who could be most influential in your job search.

Some of the most obvious groups to join are:

  • College or high school alumni group
  • Former company alumni group
  • Professional groups (such as for communicators, engineers, etc.)
  • Nonprofit groups (charities you are passionate about)
  • Networking groups (local job seeker groups, singles, groups, etc.)
  • Hobby-type groups (like the Movie Addicts group, etc.)

Consider groups that can help you grow your job skills. For example, when I was looking for work in communications and wanted to grow my social networking knowledge, I signed up for groups like eMarketing Association Network, Social Media Marketing, and Web 2.0 for Higher Education. I found a wealth of information on those group discussion boards that I referenced when I went on job interviews.

Once you have determined which groups you want to join, click the “Join Group” button and then check whether you want to receive a daily or weekly digest email from the group. When I first joined groups, I elected to receive daily digests, but when I kept adding groups, I scaled back the frequency to weekly.

You can join up to 10 groups at a time and can belong to a total of 100 groups. Some professional groups may deny your request if they only allow dues-paying members to join. You can also start a group.

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Here are examples of the types of groups I've joined.

Participate in the group discussions, post blog entries or links to interesting articles to gain recognition within the groups … after all, it could help land a job that you will love.

What LinkedIn groups do you like and why? Share your comments via the Contact tab. -- Kathy

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